9 things that surprised me when I moved from the east coast of Canada to the west coast

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Before you go, here are a few things to remember if you are planning to travel to any of Canada’s airports.

Arrive early

Thanks to the increase in COVID-19 protocols, Canada’s airports are much busier than normal. For this reason, you should try to arrive at the airport earlier than before.

Air Canada suggests arriving an hour and a half before your flight if you are traveling domestically and two hours before your flight if you are going to the United States.

Those traveling abroad, including to Mexico and the Caribbean, should aim to arrive three hours before their scheduled flight time.

Toronto Pearson Airport also recommends arriving “at least three hours in advance” for international travel, as queues are longer at this time and delays are possible.

Download ArriverCAN

To travel to any of Canada’s airports, passengers must use government ArriveCAN services.

It allows travelers to submit all of their information before leaving on a trip, including their personal information, their potential quarantine plan, and any necessary COVID-19 test results.

It is also the tool used by fully vaccinated Canadians to prove their vaccination status to border officials, allowing them to skip certain travel measures when they return home.

Consider purchasing travel insurance

“If you must travel internationally, check the terms, conditions, limitations, exclusions and requirements of your insurance policy before leaving Canada,” read an official notice from the federal government.

Whether you are fully vaccinated or not, experts suggest purchasing travel insurance before you go abroad and checking your coverage before you go.

“Right now, many tour operators, cruise lines, and airlines offer much broader cancellation options and coverages that may allow you to cancel with a refund, free changes, and / or future travel credit.” said travel consultant Kelly Neufeld. Narcity.

Prepare for increased health measures

Airports like Toronto Pearson and Winnipeg International have warned wait times could be extended due to additional health measures linked to COVID-19. For example, Pearson warned that “it could take longer to get through the airport due to additional health checks for COVID-19.”

A Winnipeg airport notice added, “Give yourself plenty of time at the airport before your flight, as some health measures may take longer to implement. “

This can include processes such as verifying COVID-19 test results, verifying travelers’ quarantine plans, and cleaning and disinfecting occupied spaces.

Throughout the airport, hand hygiene stations will be available and social distancing requirements may remain in place.

Expect longer lines and delays

As eligible international travelers are now allowed to visit Canada for non-essential purposes, several Canadian airports have urged travelers to be prepared for longer lines and possible delays due to increased traffic. passenger flow.

“Delays are possible and longer wait times are to be expected due to increased passenger numbers and COVID-19 health measures,” Toronto Pearson warned in August when American travelers received the fire green to come to the true North.

Other airports have shared similar views as they prepare to welcome more travelers again, with Vancouver International Airport asking “for patience as we focus on implementing these changes.”

Winnipeg Airport told visitors it “may look and feel a little different from your last visit,” but said it prioritizes “the health and safety of travelers, visitors and personnel above all. […]. “

Don’t forget your mask

While many of Canada’s previous travel measures were relaxed or even removed entirely on August 9, the mask’s mandate at airports and on public transportation has not changed.

This means that passengers, airport staff and airline employees should continue to wear appropriate face coverings when traveling at Canadian airports and when traveling.

It’s probably a good idea to bring a comfortable, reusable mask, as you might need to wear it for long periods of time.

Before you go, check out our Responsible Travel Guide to be informed, be safe, be smart and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

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